The Week in iPhone Apps: Tired Internet Meme Edition

Do you think a store full of geek developers could let September 19th go by without a surge of pirate-related applications? Personally, I'm waiting for the app that pushes live updates of real pirate advisories so my raw shipments of bulgur wheat stop getting jacked off the Somali coast. But in the app store, it's all about fun, so let's do some silly voices. Ninja fans shouldn't worry either, and nor should people who hate silly memes altogether-just like every other week, the App Store aims to please all.


Pocket Pirate: Quick: it's not too late! Talk Like a Pirate Day doesn't end at sundown-pirates keep it going into the night. Grab this app, tap some icons, hear some pirate talk. For those too lazy to do it themselves. And believe me there are more pirate apps, but you can find those on your own. Free.

Ninja: For those that prefer the other side of the age-old meme coin, there is Ninja. Dodge incoming shurikens and arrows by tilting the phone, while enjoying some "old world" graphics. Speed is crucial, silence is key. $1


X-Plane 9: Now, let's get serious. X-Plane is a multi-platform, super-customizable flight sim that serious desk pilots have long loved (its physics engine is FAA certified for logging actual simulator hours), and now it's made it to the iPhone. Laminar Research, the folks behind the game, were astounded at how well the iPhone handled the complex physics models for the four planes available-they're 95% accurate compared to what you'd get in the FAA-certified desktop version. X-Plane is the best implementation of tilt controls I've played with personally-they lend themselves perfectly to flying a virtual yoke. You can control the weather and the time of day for buzzing around a real-world model of Innsbruck, Austria (chosen for its interesting topography). It's a blast. $10


iNap: Clever uses of location services always impress me, and iNap is one of the best, especially if you're a frequent above-ground trans commuter. Set your destination point on Google Maps and feel free to snooze away without missing your station, because iNap will wake you up as soon as you get within a mile of your destination (or any distance of your choosing). It even works while you're in iPod mode. $1.


Oblique Strategies: A quirky one-in 1975, Brian Eno and his buddy, British artist Peter Schmidt created Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards with insightfully Lama-esque sayings designed to "break a deadlock or dilemma situation." Self motivation, ambient style, for when you need to be reminded to "look closely at the most embarassing details and amplify them." Free. This week's App coverage on Giz (busy week):

  • Podcaster app banned for being too iTunesy (offering podcasts), fanning the flames of the Apple's arbitrary and at times flippand approval process...
  • ...which Joy of Tech skewers in this nice approval process flowchart.
  • Copiercin, another jailbreak copy and paste solution, adds some elements of app interoperability by importing and exporting to notes, emails, and SMS.
  • The Sonic Lighter is for when you need to light up your virtual cig (w/ nicotine patch added), and it can also light the fires of other nearby iPhones.
  • Apple's Remote app got an update to include Genius support and a playlist editor.
  • Clones of the game Breakout, which is the first game to hit any type of platform, always, are getting nasty cease and desist-like letters from the game's original developer.
  • Private-I masquerades as something secret and fools thieves into emailing you your stolen phone's location when launched.
  • And the developers of popular puzzle game Trism have supposedly made $250,000 since the game's release. Not bad.

This list is in no way definitive. If you've spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us a heads up or, better yet, your firsthand impressions in the comments. And for even more apps: see our previous weekly roundups here, and check out our original iPhone App Review Marathon. Have a good weekend everybody.

Related: Gizmodo's Essential Iphone Apps


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